Joelle Powe UWCM 2017
Kindness is infectious. The UWC contributes to the growth of thousands of individuals that have been inspired, and ultimately inspire others thanks to the valuable UWC movement. However, the movement’s impact does not stop with us. We strive to touch others around the world as well. After UWC, there is no doubt, that the conversations we had, the workshops we host, the businesses we work with, the families and friends we create, and services we start will be impacted by our time at UWC. Therefore, the prosperity of the UWC movement cannot be quantified and statistics will always be an understatement. The results and variations in how each student impacts the world is infinite. My story is wonderful but ultimately not unique. I am one of many testimonials to the righteousness of UWC.
I have always been a student, a musician, a dancer, and a yogi. I have always been a privileged mixed race Jamaican girl. I have always been a friend. I have always spoken Spanish and English. I have always been safe. I have always cared about the people around me. Before applying to UWC I believed that I was complete. It seemed like there was no space for additional positive adjectives in my identity. I was wrong because there is one adjective that would remove the pre-existing ones and stay to control my entire lifestyle after being at UWC Maastricht. I am unbounded. Religions, sexes, geographical backgrounds, races, and world views are all superficial categories which mislead us to think we are different. At UWC Maastricht, I experienced a series of Nirvana's that revealed the truth of this belief to me. I am unbounded because the spirit inside my body overflows and connects with yours, and everyone else’s.
When I meet someone new, there is always a part of me who is already familiar with this person. That part of me is the yogi who sees everyone as an extension of herself. Once I have developed relationships with that new person, I understand them as an extension of myself and another element of my actual self is revealed to me. Conclusively, seeing more of the world allows me to understand more of myself because other versions of myself are discovered in other people. I wouldn’t have discovered this inspirational, creative, intuitive, almost selfless version of myself if it weren’t for meeting people who provide an impetus for me act in this way. Each person, with every interaction, reveals another trait of myself. This is why I want to continue being surrounded by “unfamiliarity” after UWC Maastricht, so I will continue to do a gap Semester at Sea.
This Joelle who believes in the oneness of all life on Earth as a manifestation of the divine is a powerful person. There is no jealousy. The success of someone else is my own to celebrate as well. The suffering of another individual is my pain to heal too. Caribbean dance and Yoga club of which both I am the leader are mediums through which I share the techniques which bring me happiness, peace and energy to others. Before UWC Maastricht, the space where I collided with many unfamiliar faces who I now see as extensions of myself, I did not know I had so much to offer the world.
I see myself in the future, a powerful, wise, empathetic healer of the world. I will teach yoga for the rest of my life and I plan to obtain a degree in medicine on the side. The possibilities of paths that the UWC creates and opens for students are endless. From yogis to astronauts to politicians, we are all change makers that touch others too.
Peace, love, light and gratitude.